Keep up with our guest Joey Sanchez on LinkedIn.
Check out Cup of Joey on LinkedIn and Eventbrite.
Learn more about The Ion Houston on LinkedIn and their website.
Find out what’s next for the Houston Tech Rodeo.
Connect with Chris Howard on LinkedIn.
Check out Softeq on the Softeq website.
[00:00] Building the brand & finding the “why” for Cup of Joey
[07:41] Wrangling wild ideas at the Houston Tech Rodeo
[17:00] Transforming the Ion in midtown Houston with Rice University
[23:24] Advantages of being a Houston startup instead of an Austin startup
[28:34] Forging the space cowboy future Houston deserves by 2036
What’s your “why” for starting Cup of Joey?
The pandemic was a struggle for Joey, a known extrovert, and his way of coping with shutdowns and social distancing was to come up with Cup of Joey. When mandates began to lift, Joey wanted to bring the Houston tech community together, inspiring relationships and natural networking opportunities alongside good coffee and fun events. Cup of Joey and a cup of joe only has a “y” (or, why) as a difference, and Joey says that’s because his “why” for starting Cup of Joey (and the “why” every entrepreneur has for their businesses) makes the difference.
“The future is going to come at you no matter what, unless you have a purpose; that's the only way you're going to be able to forge the future or change the future for good. If not, the future is just going to take you over and it's going to dictate where you go.”
Was the Houston Tech Rodeo your brainchild?
Alongside the team at Houston Exponential, Houston Tech Rodeo came to life for the first time in 2020, just days before covid shut down the state of Texas. The inspiration for Tech Rodeo? Wanting to celebrate the future-- a space cowboy future. Innovation, especially in space exploration and the tech industry, is going to define the future of Houston. Joey wanted an opportunity alongside Houston’s massive yearly rodeo to lasso those innovative ideas together.
“The Houston Rodeo is talking about the past, they're celebrating our past, our heritage, and we said, ‘What if we created an event that celebrated our future?’ And that's where Houston Tech Rodeo came about, to wrangle the wild ideas, to spur connection.”
Tell me about Rice's support of the Ion. What are they trying to accomplish there?
Rice University has owned the land that contains the Ion Houston for years, but Joey believes that their recent involvement with the Ion represents forward thinking and a desire to change the landscape of downtown Houston. Rice wants more startups and entrepreneurial ventures in Houston. Supporting these projects and investing funds, time, and space into these startups shows the drive Rice University has towards forging a future for Houston’s financial success.
“Rice has been at the forefront of innovation in Houston since the beginning. This is another step in the direction of the future for them. They've owned this land in Houston since 1900. Now, they decided, ‘Let's do something with this to make the city greater than it already is."
What is a critical element in Forging the Future in the innovation community, from your perspective?
Joey believes that 2036, Texas’ 200-year anniversary, will bring about a massive rebrand for the future of the state. This rebrand will be a culmination of the hard work that the Ion, Houston Exponential, Houston Tech Rodeo, and many other startup-driven businesses have put in to forge a future for technology in Texas. Instead of being the afterthought in comparison to places like Silicon Valley, Joey hopes to guide the tech community with a purpose to change the view of Texas as a hub of innovation and intelligence.
“If we want to forge our future, we have to define our purpose and that's what the 2036 moniker is all about for me. The only ones that actually create a dent in the universe are the ones that have intent, the ones that have purpose.”